For World Brain Day 2016, a Call to Action for Our Aging Brains and All That Ails Them

For World Brain Day 2016, a Call to Action for Our Aging Brains and All That Ails Them
Each year on World Brain Day, July 22 the year, the World Federation of Neurology (WFN) dedicates a brain awareness campaign to a different topic. Tomorrow's will draw our attention to the aging brain — and the diseases that damage it. The campaign hopes to be a wake-up call for politicians and policy decision-makers worldwide, allowing people to realize that the burden of neurological disorders is underestimated, and not receiving either appropriate recognition or funding. These disorders range from Alzheimer's and Parkinson's to dementia and stroke. “The message we are conveying with World Brain Day is clear: The priorities in policy and funding must change. Brain health should be treated as one of the highest-level healthcare priorities,” Professor Raad Shakir, president of the WFN, said in a press release. The theme was not chosen at random, but rather was spurred by a worrisome development the WFN, among others, have noted. “It is becoming increasingly clear that neurological disorders, such as stroke and dementia but to name a few, are projected to rise at a rate that could overwhelm our healthcare systems,” said Shakir, underscoring that experts have repeatedly warned about healthcare systems worldwide being ill-prepared to handle increasing aging populations, public debate about this is eerily absent, and awareness among health policymakers is low. “Brain health will be among the most important determinants of social and economic well-being of older persons in the future,” Shakir added, noting that this year’s theme intends to increase the awareness
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